How I’m an Ocean Guardian: Putting Yoga into Action

Colorful Costa Rican sunset

A few months ago I wrote an article that was published in Elephant Journal about my move to a rural Costa Rican community and how the reconnection with nature influenced my yoga practice and my life.In that article I talked about how a connection with nature nurtures my yoga practice. Now I would like to share how my yoga practice enhances my connection with nature and has encouraged me to become an Ocean Guardian. As I write this, a few ideas jump into my mind... Yoga creates openness and … [Read more...]

Be Soft: Lessons from India

Meditation in Mysore, India

Today in my Bhagavad Gita lesson, the teacher was explaining a certain chapter and he told a story from Confucius that truly resonated with me. It is said that when Confucius was laying on his death bed, surrounded by his disciples, they requested one final lesson from him. Apparently, he simply opened his mouth very wide — he was very old he had no teeth — and apparently what he meant by that last gesture was to encourage them to "be soft". To soften their actions, words, their perspective of … [Read more...]

Namaste to Everyone!

Beach yoga Punta Uvita Costa Rica

I've never really been that into the concept of tattoos, but for the first time in my life, I am actually considering getting one. I want to tattoo the Sanskrit word Namaste. What does Namaste mean? Namaste is my favorite word: Namaha means “to bow” and te means "to you". So it basically means “I bow to you”. It is a gesture of acknowledging each other’s souls and recognizing all the beauty, love, light, kindness and truth that we all have inside. I like the idea of the word because if we are … [Read more...]

Yoga for the Community Program

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

Even before opening the doors to the Bodhi Shambala Yoga Center in July of 2013, Pilar Salazar knew that she wanted to offer an option to her fellow community members in Bahia Ballena who were interested in learning more about the practice yoga but who perhaps didn’t have the disposable income to do so or even know where to begin. Pilar never forgets how her personal yoga journey fundamentally changed her life for the better, and she wants to ensure that others have the same opportunities she … [Read more...]

Why Do I Practice Yoga? Why Do I Teach?

Pilar at yoga retreat in Greece

Yoga came into my life for the first time in 1999, when I joined a class at a friend’s house. A few months later, I began attending the classes being offered at my gym, and although now I don’t consider gyms to be the best place to learn yoga (as I will explain more below), these baby steps were the foundation upon which my love of yoga would grow. My true “turning point” was in 2001, when I went to visit my best friend in Boulder, Colorado. I commented to her sister that I was practicing yoga, … [Read more...]

Brahmamuhurta Madness!

Yoga pose

The alarm goes off. My first thought is “oh nooo, I can’t believe it’s time to get up again!” My second thought is “should I snooze it?” It’s dark, the bed feels so deeply comfortable and warm; I can feel the law of attraction holding me to the sheets. I think, “why should I get up?” The truth is, in this moment, I’d really rather stay in bed for a couple more hours. So it goes: 5 or 6 days of the week I put myself through this, only to end up getting up. But why? What’s the story? What Is … [Read more...]

Manifesto Of A 36-Year-Old

Pilar Salazar meditates on Playa Uvita

I just turned 36 years old. It’s surreal, all your life you know you are eventually going to age, but when you hit 35, you really start to feel that you have crossed some unseen barrier. Those of you who are over “the line” might be able to relate to this: you know, the moment where you visit the doctor, or fill out a job application or a survey, and all of a sudden you have to start checking the next box that says “between 35 and 50”! Age Is Just A Number Age has become an irrelevant subject … [Read more...]

Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It Too?

Mermaid birthday cake

Weird title for a yoga blog, right?  If you know me you will understand why I need to write this, and if you don't, stick with me for a little longer I will elaborate so you can see how this links to the practice of yoga.Here it goes: “My name is Pilar, and I am a self-proclaimed cake lover”. If there was a “Cake-Eaters Anonymous” group they would deny my entry as I would probably end up convincing everyone that cake is too good to give up during this lifetime. Maybe in the next lifetime, … [Read more...]

Similarities Between Surfing and Yoga

Recently I took a surf lesson with my beautiful hubby, one of the many benefits of being married to a Bodhi Surf instructor. I am still in the learning phase so the lesson consisted of theoretical instruction as well as lots of paddling and falling, but needless to say, I had a wonderful time. I was able to stand up several times and even had my “golden moment”, where everything was perfectly aligned for me to have an awesome ride! Afterwards, my husband stayed in the water to catch some waves … [Read more...]

Choosing The Right Type of Yoga for Yourself

As yoga keeps growing there is an abundance of styles and teachers all over the world that you can choose from. As you walk thru the path of yoga you may realize that the variety not only relies on the style but also the instructors. Some Yoga Styles It is said that in the beginning yoga was a philosophical discipline to embrace a way of life that will lead us to enlightenment. The main branches: Jnana, karma & bhakti yoga had no physical positions at all, most of all they were based on … [Read more...]